Saturday, April 6, 2019

Borrego Valley Hawkwatch-Post Season Highlights-Thursday April 4-Sunday April 7, 2019

The season has been completed, however the hawks continue. A few days after we officially finished the season, we discovered a huge congregation of hawks in the old potato fields to the east and also east of the airport . As anticipated, hawks that had been feeding in Mexico and locations other than Borrego Springs began entering the valley. On Thursday and Friday April 4 and 5, over a 1,000 Swainson's Hawks were observed at several locations. Today, Saturday April 6, we witnessed around 500 hawks mainly from the airport location. The wind at the Henderson Canyon Rd site was raging at 30-40mph. Although we are not counting hawks as they migrate, we are continuing to alert the public. It's still a thrill to observe hundreds of hawks kettling and feeding. Check out the youtube from Friday April 6th near the airport. https://youtu.be/qp40E4YUNBY

Just got word (5:30pm Saturday April 6) that around 100 hawks dropped into the dunes at Old Springs Road-road to the dump off of S-22 where it turns north. This is the Old Springs County Preserve as you drive onto Old Springs Rd.

Sunday April 7, a day to remember. We checked out the county preserve and found a half dozen hawks on creosote bushes. I then went to the hill south of Henderson Canyon. We will have to name this hill as it provides a great overview of potential roosting and feeding sites. I spotted over 100 hawks on the ground and another 150 kettling up. As I scanned to the east I picked up an additional 50-75 hawks in a kettle. Hawks began to rise and stream all around me. All of the hawks eventually moved to the north and west, streaming out of the valley. I had at least 8 separate kettles of hawks at one time after the initial departure. I believe the total count was around 500+ hawks.

Monday April 8, I thought it was over! Well over 300 hawks migrated today. The best viewing was on Henderson Canyon Rd. I've decided to name the hill south of Henderson Canyon Rd "Lily Hill". There are several Desert Lily Plants on the Hill.
Desert Lilies at Lily Hil

Our first photo is of Andy, our greeter at the evening watch. In this photo he is vocalizing. The life span of an Anna's Hummingbird is 8.5 years. Andy is at least 8 years old. All the hawk shots were taken April 5-6. All of the hawks below are Swainson's Hawks. Named for Swainson's a 19th century naturalist by Lucian Bonaparte (nephew of Napoleon) based on a painting by John James Audubon that was created by a specimen caught by Townsend. A remarkable combination of famous naturalists and artists.



Our Official Greeter At The Evening Watch-HC


Adult Rufous Morph SW-Dave Clark

Adult Light Morph SW-Dave Clark
Nice Kettle of Swainson's Hawks-Aedyn Loefke

Adult Female Morph SW-Tom Hamilton

Adult Light Morph SW-Tom Hamilton
Adult Dark Rufous SW-Frimmel Smith

Adult Light Morph SW-Frimmel Smith

Sub-Adult SW-Frimmel Smith

Sub-adult Dark Morph SW-Frimmel Smith
Light Morph SW Taken With I-phone-Dana/Megan Draper

Light Morph SW-Frimmel Smith
Subadult Light Intermediate SW-Ted Spriggs Jr. 
Canadian Paratroppers Passing a Swainson's Hawk-HC
Adult Light Intermediate morph SW-Kwan Choo

Adult Male Light Morph SW-Kwan Choo


Adult Male Light Morph SW-Kwan Choo

Dark Morph SW-Kwan Choo

19 comments:

  1. Thank you very much for all the efforts you and all of the Hawk watchers put into the hawk watch it's sad that so many of these birds showed up after everyone thought it was done , but look at all the beautiful birds that you have photos of and what's really amazing is how these birds like to hang out at the airport with a C-130 taking off .

    Keep up this great Hawk count ,
    I look forward to next year's count thank you very much for all the effort you put into this count each year Hal .
    Sincerely
    Gary S Meredith

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